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Introducing Ekkwaliza footwear brand

Business

Neo Matheka

A young designer and author, Lerato Mokokoane, has added footwear to his clothing brand, Ekkwalisa.

The author of the book titled: My “I can” story and published in 2021, says it has taken him six years to finalise the footwear range for his brand, which was launched in 2014.

The locally sold brand was initially recognisable on track pants, t-shirts, caps, and sweaters before the conception of the shoe line.

Mokokoane said they have already approved samples for their footwear products, and the final product will hit the market in March this year.

“Today, we are deeply happy that six years of resilience has paid off dividends and we are about to deliver the ultimate promise to our clients,” Mokokoane told Newsday this week.

“This week we have welcomed the Ekkwaliza footwear sample and our customers are excited about it,” he added.

He said one of the challenges they faced in developing the shoe line was that a lot of males seemed uninterested in it.

“Some of the men see the shoe line as appropriate for the youth or women, while others are only ready to wear it for important occasions,” he said.

He further indicated that he was aware that it takes time for people to familiarize themselves with a new product and said he was hoping that with time, his brand would be one of the most loved in Lesotho and beyond.

Mokokoane does not have a physical store yet and this is one of the things they are working tirelessly to address.

His merchandise is available on order. He said he could be contacted through his social media pages.

He said: “We are looking forward to growing a brand for youth and adults. The aim is to ensure that the brand becomes relevant in the fashion industry and remains so for many years to come.”

Mokokoane said his love for entrepreneurship was inspired by the experience he gained while he was a herd boy.

“Growing up as a herd boy was a stressful experience; my peers sought to fill their stomachs with meat from wild game, but for me the case was different.

“The precious stones which are arranged over the Ekkwaliza logo are the ones that I always found on the grazing land during my days as a herd boy. Little did I know that from that experience, will emanate a clothing label.”

He explained that Ekkwaliza was a combination of two words; one from English and the other from the Sesotho language. Ekk means distressful and Waliza means to care for flocks. Its tagline is Give It a Go.

One important lesson he wished to share with aspiring young entrepreneurs was that they should write down their goals. He said written goals were more powerful than goals kept in the mind.

“There is a believe that writing down your goals helps you to clarify exactly what you want to achieve, which helps guide your daily actions towards goal achievement. Writing down your goals is the first step towards attaining them,” Mokokoane said.

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